Today marks the start of a new series on the blog, and it’s pretty self-explanatory, “Dining Out.” As you have totally figured out by now, the hubby and I are both big foodies, and so we are always excited to try a new restaurant. But possibly different than other online resources for food, we are going to include all of our experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly. But please remember to take my/our opinions with a grain of salt. Maybe you have different food tastes than we do, or maybe if we didn’t like a restaurant or loved it, the kitchen was either working in our favor that night or not. So, without further ado, the first of the restaurant reviews: the Crack Shack.
We’ve been excited to try this place ever since it opened – it’s all outdoors, there is a bocce court…oh, and did I mention that it is a restaurant that is focused around all things fried chicken? Yep, in both of our minds this was a surefire win.
We went with friends on a Monday night, which in my opinion, are both advisable. First, because it’s much easier to try a lot of different things when there are more people eating. And second, we like to go out on the quieter nights for restaurants, not at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday when the restaurant is going to be super slammed.
The ambiance of the Crack Shack is really cute (but we already knew that because we had driven by a bunch of times.) It’s casual and a little funky, and it seems like the kind of place where people are always having a great time.
We started off with a few appetizers to share, the deviled eggs and the mini biscuits.
Sadly the deviled eggs left much to be desired. Under-seasoned, uninteresting and a little too much devil to egg ratio. (We far prefer the deviled eggs from here in case you are wondering.) But luckily the mini biscuits did not disappoint. Warm, fresh out of the oven, with a little pot of miso-maple butter to shmear around. Yes, they were delicious. And although I am not a biscuit connoisseur like my husband, everyone agreed that they were divine.
Now for the heavy hitters, the sammies. I ordered the Firebird – a spicy chicken sandwich topped with homemade pickles, ranch sauce and crispy onions, smushed into a potato roll. I was really excited for it.
First bite, fat. Second bite, more fat. Not an ideal start. Hmm. Now, I know that I ordered a sandwich with dark meat…but…it shouldn’t have been nearly as fatty as it was. And also surprisingly flavorless. And that’s when it hit me. It was not hot, spicy or firebirdy at all. I quickly flipped open a picture of the sandwich online to compare it to the one I had before me, and my suspicions were correct. No hot sauce. I asked a waiter if my sandwich looked right, and he also agreed that they forgot to dip the chicken into the hot sauce. Bummer. The waiter offered me a new sandwich or a side of hot sauce to dip in, but I sadly had no interest in either. The meat was far too fatty, the pickles were barely pickled (more like lightly seasoned cucumbers), and the crispy onions? I can’t actually remember eating any of them.
I pushed my sandwich aside and the hubby sweetly shared his with me, the Señor Croque, with a side of fries. I figured mine just must have been a fluke, so I was excited to take a bite of his – fried chicken topped with a fried egg, bacon and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun that’s been shmeared with that delicious miso-maple butter that we loved so much. Yum.
Okay, let me start on those fries. They were without a doubt some of the best french fries I have had anywhere. Think Five Guys but with loads and loads more flavor and an awesome crispy factor. I’m sure the fact that they fry them in chicken fat really helps to get the job done (and the bar of homemade dipping sauces doesn’t hurt either). The fries were a 10 out of 10. Winner, winner, french fry dinner.
The Señor Croque? Well, it was good. Fried chicken, cheese, a fried egg…a lot of delicious ingredients, but again it really lacked in flavor. My husband said he much prefers a certain fried chicken fast food sandwich company over his Señor Croque (and I completely agree).
As a consolation prize for the mishap with my order, the restaurant kindly brought over 2 cookies for us to share, a s’mores and a birthday cake-ish cookie. Both good, but I don’t think that people are coming here for the cookies.
Without a doubt it was a disappointing experience (aside from the customer service) for us, especially knowing that our Top Chef favorite, Richard Blais has a hand in the restaurant. We definitely expected far better. Did we visit on an off night? Maybe, you never know. But since pretty much everything was lacking seasoning (aside from those amazing fries), I doubt it. Will we be back? Well, it would take a lot. Maybe someday we would get an order of french fries to dip in some of their tasty sauces, but the likelihood is that my fantasy of going to the Crack Shack on a warm Summer night to enjoy a cold beer and chicken sandwich while we play bocce is never going to come to fruition. Better cluck next time.